Alex Ellery, Carleton University

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Professor Ottawa, Ontario aellery@mae.carleton.ca Office: (613) 261-3765

Bio/Research

As Canada Research Chair in Space Robotics and Space Technology, Dr. Alex Ellery has an enviable record in space technology, working with organizations such as the European Space Agency to overcome the problems of operating space-based robotics in low-gravity environments, in the harshest conditi...

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Bio/Research

As Canada Research Chair in Space Robotics and Space Technology, Dr. Alex Ellery has an enviable record in space technology, working with organizations such as the European Space Agency to overcome the problems of operating space-based robotics in low-gravity environments, in the harshest conditions, out of reach of human operators, and too far away to remotely control via radio link. Using lab equipment, Ellery simulates such conditions as the surface of Mars.

One problem facing space technology and robotics has to do with the current way satellites are maintained in space. By investigating new, modular designs for spacecraft components, and by using robotic arms that work the same way an astronaut's do, Ellery hopes to dramatically reduce the cost of assembly and repair. If spacecraft could install their own new parts, they wouldn't be crippled if their components failed, and the potential cost savings would be enormous.

Robotic systems may also be used on planetary rovers on, for instance, the surface of Mars. By adapting technologies found in the natural world (such as the way some insects drill into wood and soil) the search for life signs will be made easier.

These technologies will bring space ever closer to us, even if it is only within robotic reach.


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